Whats the deal with the mefi swap? July 29, 2004 8:47 PM   Subscribe

Whats the deal with the mefi swap? Its supposed to be open, but is infact, not. Is it dead? That would make me very sad.
posted by bob sarabia to MetaFilter Music at 8:47 PM (49 comments total)

It's alive and well, just dormant at the moment. The last swap session finished not so long ago. Just sign up and wait until Dreama sends you something, or if you can't sign up send an email to Dreama.
posted by azazello at 9:53 PM on July 29, 2004

I emailed dreama 3 or 4 days ago, still no answer. I guess i'm just impatient. The reg start date was supposed to be the 20th, but the reg page is still closed. Just making sure it's still alive.
posted by bob sarabia at 10:01 PM on July 29, 2004

CD swaps are so 2003

Because I really hate "that's so XXXX" comments, let me explain: cd swaps are a great idea but no longer "whiz-bang" fashionable and thus suffering from a precipitous participation curve, which affects their utility... it's a spiral, you see.

The one CD swap I participated in yielded me a bunch of stuff I don't listen to. I probably won't do another, unless it's somehow more targeted by taste or acquaintance.

Pretty hilarious that signups are closed, too. How appropriate!
posted by scarabic at 10:46 PM on July 29, 2004

Jeez, scarabic, could you be a little more condescending please?

There have been over 100 swappers in this round and, accordingly, over 20 sets. In the mefiswap model, it doesn't matter how many people there are in the round as long as there are more than 6 (to form at least one set). This round yielded about the same amount of new stuff I like as usual - namely, one CD that I listen to often and a song or two from each of the rest that I really like and get interested in the author. Like I said, you can sign up by emailing Dreama - she'll get back to you eventually.

So by all means, sit in your corner and stew with your iPod, while we enjoy our swapping, 2003-style.
posted by azazello at 11:15 PM on July 29, 2004

hmmm, isn't the point of the swap to get stuff you don't listen to? I'm failing to see you're point scab.
posted by bob sarabia at 12:52 AM on July 30, 2004

Well, you could always swap zip files with Dropload, but that'd be too much like Evil Piracy. Yaar!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:10 AM on July 30, 2004

i'm all up for that, if the swap doesn't go off. i <3 piracy.
posted by bob sarabia at 1:16 AM on July 30, 2004

I've participated in a few of them - and my key issue is that people don't always follow through...so in groups of 5, I've had 3 or 4 CD's - despite sending 5 out...or whatever.

What would be cool - would be a more freeform way of swapping mixes...I love making the CD's or just the mix in MP3 format....and I'd gladly swap with anyone...but it has to be a swap - not a one way thing....
posted by mattr at 4:34 AM on July 30, 2004

I'd like to get in on the next one, so thanks for asking about this, bob sarabia. I love being exposed to stuff I don't ordinarily listen to.

Mattr, I like the mp3 idea. Maybe some of us could post links to some mp3s on our userpages, or something. Or you could join the mefi group at audioscrobbler and ask the group leader to start up a metafilter forum there - that might work.
posted by iconomy at 4:48 AM on July 30, 2004

it's weird....i got some swap cds earlier in the year, but never got any emails about who i was supposed to send mine to. (I liked them tho.)
posted by amberglow at 5:19 AM on July 30, 2004

Is participation really usually less than 100%? Both times I've participated I've received all five of my CDs.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:13 AM on July 30, 2004

heh. i think scarabic was one of the people who received my wonderful music for mefi mix (self link, duh). bastard. well, your mix was crap too (except it wasn't, iirc - i bought quite a few albums based on artists i heard from swap albums i received (although often it turned out that the only good track was the one on the mix...)). and i think i eventually got them all, although one was like 6 months late (yay, correos de chile!).
posted by andrew cooke at 6:28 AM on July 30, 2004

2 out of 3 times I've gotten all 5 mixes. From this past swap, I'm still waiting on one mix.

I think it's great. I always find at least one song on a mix that I don't know and really like. And that's one song I might not have come across any other way.
posted by MsVader at 8:07 AM on July 30, 2004

If you are impatient, perhaps you could offer your assistance to Dreama in setting up the next round.
posted by mookieproof at 8:28 AM on July 30, 2004

I got 3 out of the 5 I was supposed to get. Really I got 4, but the 4th was the same song, over and over, 19 times.
posted by GaelFC at 8:34 AM on July 30, 2004

When we did a swap over on the monkey site, we did it differently. We set a deadline as usual, then we created the groups, from people who had made their CDs on time. We still had to trust that a swapper wasn't lying when they said they were ready, but it cut down significantly on deadbeats.
posted by jpoulos at 8:43 AM on July 30, 2004

Actually, lupo, I got 1 out of 4 expected from the last monkey swap (damn you, Vidiot!). I find threats work best.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:59 AM on July 30, 2004

As jpoulos noted, we have a CD Swap at MonkeyFilter that is revving up for its second round. If Bob or anybody else wants in, just join the monkey and follow the instructions here.

Subsite here.
posted by shotsy at 9:04 AM on July 30, 2004

this past round I only got 2 of 5. very disappointing.
posted by evening at 9:19 AM on July 30, 2004

The one CD swap I participated in yielded me a bunch of stuff I don't listen to. I probably won't do another, unless it's somehow more targeted by taste or acquaintance.

Why in the name of all that is holy would you participate in a cd swap if you received a whole bunch of music you already know about? I've been kicking around the idea of participating for awhile, and if I did I'd hope that no more than three or four tracks on any given cd were recognized by whomever received them from me. Of course, this would inevitably lead to some people disliking the cd's, which seems to be what you're complaining about, but for the relatively low cost of participation it seems like a gamble worth taking!
posted by The God Complex at 1:22 PM on July 30, 2004

I helped dreama out a few years back with some programming for swap-related stuff.

During that swap, I got 1 or 2 of my 5 swap discs, after sending out all 5 on time.

Then I got a snarky letter during the next swap accusing me of not sending my discs for the previous swap. All swap-related info now goes straight to the trash.
posted by websavvy at 1:23 PM on July 30, 2004

I only got four out five on the last round. I can only assume the fifth guy died peacefully in his sleep or something (it could happen). Or it could be I'd made the controversial decision to make my comp entirely of late sixties psych pop and the guy just hated my guts (could also happen).
posted by dodgygeezer at 1:30 PM on July 30, 2004

I did two swaps, and got five discs both times with some great stuff on 'em. Then I took a hiatus from anything MeFi related, but I'll definitely be participating when the next one starts.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:37 PM on July 30, 2004

I like the idea of profile mp3s or something of the like, not as a replacement for a swap, just a little something extra. Hosting would be a problem most likely.

I had no idea swap follow through was a big problem, that really sucks.

I'm going to sign up for the monkeyfilter swap as soon as 24 hours pass and I can comment.
posted by bob sarabia at 1:52 PM on July 30, 2004

Whan I did the last swap, I couldn't stop wondering if it wouldn't make more sense to send the files electronically, and save the postage cost.

I kind of like assembling a CD cover.
And getting stuff in the mail.
But then, I'm a huge dork.

Also: a dork stuck on dialup.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:07 PM on July 30, 2004

damn you, Vidiot!

Ouch. I'm about ready to drop-kick my CD burner, after the software crapped out.

I feel guilty about it, though, rest assured...
posted by Vidiot at 2:36 PM on July 30, 2004

A forum's been started up at audioscrobbler, for anyone interested.
posted by iconomy at 2:54 PM on July 30, 2004

Whan I did the last swap, I couldn't stop wondering if it wouldn't make more sense to send the files electronically, and save the postage cost

I find that I don't pay much attention when I get a bunch of mp3s, but when I get five CDs I listen to them in my car and pay much more attention. I also, as does PST, love making covers and see it as an occasional hobby as much as a way to spread the musical love.

Though I'll have to fess up in the dork poll as well...
posted by shotsy at 3:55 PM on July 30, 2004

I also, as does PST, love making covers and see it as an occasional hobby as much as a way to spread the musical love.

the two swaps in which i participated, i spent a bunch of time designing the liner notes and the cd label. both times i received 5 cds back, but only one in each swap had some sort of a decorative liner, and i cannot remember any that had labels. its not going to deter me from designing another label, but i didnt realize that others loved making the covers just as much as i do.
posted by rhapsodie at 4:44 PM on July 30, 2004

Jeez, scarabic, could you be a little more condescending please?

Hey there, I didn't mean to insult your project. I looked at it for all of 5 seconds. Sorry. As an offshoot of the famously-closed MetaFilter, you've gotta see some humor in closing user signups there... no?
posted by scarabic at 7:51 PM on July 30, 2004

I haven't participated before because I know myself too well to trust that I would end up dealing well with packaging and posting stuff for overseas delivery. In fact, I have something for plep that's been sitting on my bookcase for months (are you reading this plep? I have something for you that you will probably never get! Isn't that fun?).

But if there's ever an electronic swap, I'll do it. And I'll post a printable CD label.
posted by taz at 1:29 AM on July 31, 2004

Well my first swap, this year, I only got 3 out of the 5 I was supposed to get. I emailed everyone who sent one to let them know I'd got it and to thank them and no one could be arsed to let me know they'd recieved theirs, or tell me what they thought of it (which could have been a good thing, I suppose).

I won't be bothering this time round, which is a shame, 'cos it's a good idea.

Recently, though, I've been swapping tracks through gmail. One or two a week - I send one, another's sent back, etc. No postage costs, no significant investment of time.

My email's in my profile.

What about a Mefi DC++ Hub? Mefi W.A.S.T.E.?
posted by Blue Stone at 3:03 AM on July 31, 2004

The nicest email surprise I ever received was an mp3 of a Bjork song I really loved and wanted to listen to. Someone (ok it was eyeballkid) emailed me out of the blue after I mentioned it on my now defunct weblog.

So I too like getting mp3s in my email. Just in case anyone was wondering. I miss y2karl's spontaneous spamming of my inbox, too (that sounds so suggestive, doesn't it?).
posted by iconomy at 6:45 AM on July 31, 2004

i loved the music i got this last session, and have listened many times to the 3 cds i received out of five. definately turned me on to new stuff. perhaps dreama's tied up in 'real world' things...
posted by moonbird at 7:49 AM on July 31, 2004

moonbird, your CD was voted best in the bunch by the person in whose house I left the first four swapmixes. Congratulations!
I have now got it back, and it does rock in a grand style.
posted by asok at 8:46 AM on July 31, 2004

Received 5 back from 2 swap groups. Still great value economically.
posted by asok at 8:48 AM on July 31, 2004

I got 5 for 5 (and liked most of them), but the suggestion of an mp3 swap is a good one. For instance, I didn't want to rip the swap CDs because I had no idea what came from an mp3 in the first place, and didn't want to re-encode it, thereby compounding the lossiness. Making compilations is fun but we should be able to share them more easily than sending discs through the mail?
posted by muckster at 9:09 AM on July 31, 2004

I'm one of PinkStainlessTail's acolytes as concerns electronic vs. physical: I have a dialup connection, so uploading an entire compilation would take several hours (and, in fact, would necessitate me disconnecting & dialing up again given my ISP's restrictions on session length); getting stuff in the mail is cool; and dagnabit, I like designing album covers, even if I'm not particularly original about it.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:29 AM on July 31, 2004

yeah, i'm actually working on the album cover as we speak. I think that's my only complaint with an mp3 swap.
posted by bob sarabia at 10:51 AM on July 31, 2004

I have participated in 2, the first time I got three back and the last time I got 2. Good stuff though, most of it.
posted by Fat Buddha at 4:22 PM on July 31, 2004

I participated in the last swap and only got back 3 cds, I think. (Maybe 4... but I'm pretty sure it was 3.) It is disappointing because I was careful to send mine on time. I'm not sure I would do it again, given the 40% failure rate.
posted by litlnemo at 11:27 PM on August 1, 2004

Long story short: Running the swap is a giant, timesucking, pain in the ass, made no less a pain by the endless complaints, the problem of swap slackers and full-out nixers and the dozens (3, last time around) of requests for information to resent after it's been sent twice already because people swear up and down that e-mail never made it to them (though I never see evidence of a bounce) and/or can't quite find it in themselves to whitelist the address I use exclusively for swap business.

I have also had my fill of the rude and demanding e-mails from people who think they are magically entitled to special treatment or prioritized attention because they're incapable of properly sorting and storing e-mails of important information or checking the swap site or forum for news announcements. All whiny or petulent e-mails are being sent straight to trash now; bob sarabia, you'll be edified, I'm sure, to know that is why you got no response from me. I don't accept whining from my kids, I'm sure as hell not taking it in e-mail.

I haven't done the survey for the last swap yet (I was going to start that today, but it remains to be seen if that is actually feasible) and because I am busy with things that actually benefit me and also because I am dealing with some health issues, I have to say that I don't feel particularly compelled to keep with the arbitrary schedule which I made up to begin with, just to be met with more irritation. Goodness knows that many of you who have participated see the schedule as optional, so why shouldn't I?

Speaking of which, I am also sick to death of the constant failure of people to actually follow through and send their damned mixes when they're meant to, if at all. Each session, my list of deadbeats grows and generally runs between 5-10% of the overall participants. It sucks. Putting the time and effort I do into the swap to have so many people screw the process and their fellow MeFites over bugs the crap out of me and makes me wonder why I bother.

There is absolutely no enrichment whatsoever to me in running the swap. None. I do it out of some sense of affection for this community. So if that affection has waned a bit, to the point that I'm delaying things for a little while I consider the best way to continue so that I actually get something out of the process and fewer people get crapped on by idiots who lie about their intentions, so be it. I intend to bring it back, but not in the fashion in which you've come to know it, and the changes are going to take some time to implement, and will only happen when I have the time to actually dedicate to them.

Anyone who is inclined to start and run their own version of a cd swap, have at it.
posted by Dreama at 2:09 AM on August 2, 2004

yay - go, girl, go!
(and good luck with the "health issues").
(why doesn't matt let loose like that? it warms the cockles of my bitter, cynical heart).
posted by andrew cooke at 6:23 AM on August 2, 2004

Huh. I swear I got five for five. Dreama, I'll help with some of the email/AIM stuff if you want. I have a few ideas:

* AIM/phone availability for someone to do crap like resend passwords/list of postal addresses they need [and yes, I'm volunteering]
* easier login/pass combo for the forums, stress that people need to write down [or cookify] the user/pass combo, maybe start a special forum for the swap that was more obviously MeFi branded [or just a swapfilter page?], or have the login user/pass for the forums match the one for the swap page, or have it be listed there.
* automated reminders about stuff like deadlines that require little or no input from you other than setting the wheels in motion
* no mercy for slackers

Short form, if you wanna pass it off to me, I'll do it. If you want to work together, we can do that. If you want me to shut up, hey, I can do that too. The swap has gotten me, over time, 12-15 CDs of high quality stuff and helped me meet people from MeFi I might not have otherwise met. It would be a shame to see it go away just because some people are jerks and you're stressed out.
posted by jessamyn at 6:29 AM on August 2, 2004

Thanks for all the hassle, Dreama. Don't do it if it's not worth it to you.
posted by muckster at 9:59 PM on August 4, 2004

So let me get this straight. She doesn't want to do it anymore?

(hope the rant made her feel better)
posted by Dennis Murphy at 7:55 AM on August 5, 2004

Anyone who is inclined to start and run their own version of a cd swap, have at it.

For what it's worth, I did.
posted by cmonkey at 1:45 PM on August 7, 2004

I'd just like to pipe up and say I'm a big jerk.

I did send my mix out eventually, but certainly not by the deadline. I live pretty far from the post office and rarely have the time to drive over there.

In the future I'm probably not going to sign up for these swaps. I've enjoyed the ones I've participated in, but I figure if it's not important enough to me to send discs out by the deadline, I can probably live without them in the future.
posted by rocketman at 11:42 AM on August 16, 2004

But I would like to thank you, Dreama, for putting the hard work into this. A lot of my decision to bow out of future swaps is based in respect for the job you're doing, and if people are emailing you on account of a disc I didn't send, I'll save you that hassle.
posted by rocketman at 11:44 AM on August 16, 2004

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